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Joe Biden. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Joe Biden claimed that President Trump is the first racist to be elected to the White House during a virtual town hall on Wednesday, The Washington Post reports.

Why it matters: Biden has previously said that Trump stokes racism, but this marks the first time Biden has directly called Trump a racist, the Post notes.

What Biden is saying: “No sitting president has ever done this. Never, never, never. No Republican president has done this. No Democratic president. We’ve had racists, and they’ve existed, they’ve tried to get elected president. He’s the first one that has.”

  • Biden also criticized Trump's preference for calling COVID-19 the "China virus," saying, "the way he deals with people based on the color of their skin, their national origin, where they’re from, is absolutely sickening.”

Reality check:

  • 12 U.S. presidents owned enslaved people at some point during their lives, including George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Andrew Jackson.
  • President Woodrow Wilson has been criticized for some of his policies that negatively impacted Black Americans, prompting Princeton University to remove his name from buildings in late June.

Go deeper

Oct 29, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Biden's China plan: Bring allies

Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Joe Biden is planning to confront China across the globe, embracing some of President Trump's goals but rejecting his means.

The big picture: By starting a trade war with China, Trump has fundamentally altered the U.S.- China relationship — and forced both Republicans and Democrats to accept a more confrontational approach towards Beijing.

Oct 28, 2020 - Podcasts

Pete Buttigieg talks Joe Biden's economic plans

Joe Biden has a very different prescription for America's economy than does President Trump. Not just in terms of how to tax and spend, but also in how to approach trading partners like China.

Axios Re:Cap digs into Biden's economic policies and philosophies with former presidential candidate and current Biden campaign surrogate Pete Buttigieg.

VMI votes to remove Stonewall Jackson statue amid racism allegations

The Stonewall Jackson statue is propped in front of student barracks at Virginia Military Institute. Photo by Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty

Virginia Military Institute's Board of Visitors voted on Thursday to remove a statue of Confederate Gen. Stonewall Jackson from outside student barracks, amid allegations of an enduring racist culture at the school, per the Washington Post.

Why it matters: The decision comes as the U.S. continues to grapple with its history of systemic racism and oppression of Black Americans.